I assume when pros crash, they do the same damage to themselves that the rest of us do. Although they're lighter, they tend to be going faster. But not only do they often finish that day's racing, but they're racing again the next day. How do they do it I'm thinking mainly about joints.
Why I'm thinking about it/an example:
A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a crash. Nothing serious and I finished the ride (another 180 km) but the knee I landed on must have got a bit twisted, which seems to be a habit when I go down. We were doing about 45 km/h just before four of us went down in a race-style crash, but I certainly managed to hit the brakes. I was still clipped in with my hands on tha bars when I hit the ground, and I'm only a few years older than typical TdF riders.
After 10 days of taking it easy (ibuprofen, bandage, elevation, some ice but probably not enough, and not complete rest) I was ready to try it out on a club run, and yesterday (2 weeks after) did another long ride in which it really stiffened up at lunch. There's no way I could have been competitive (yes, there were some PRs towards the end, but not on roads I've ridden recently).
But the pros can race again the next day. Are they just stoked up on painkillers/anti-inflammatories? Is it a lot of ice and compression after they get off (which is much sooner even if the distance is the same)? Do they manage to avoid injury in the first place despite crashing with a lot of energy?